Sherrill S. Cannon is a former teacher, mother of four and a grandmother of ten, who is also an Award-Winning Best-Selling Author! In less than four years, her previous five books Manner-Man, Gimme-Jimmy, The Magic Word, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys and Santa’s Birthday Gift have received eighteen 2011-13 national awards. She is also the author of seven published and internationally performed plays for elementary school children, produced throughout the world. She is a resident of New Hope, PA and travels with her husband of 53 years throughout North America in their RV, sharing her books along the way!
Have you ever seen a work of art worth millions, which looks like something your child brought home from school? This story is about a child who paints a fingerpaint print in class and then loses it in the wind on the way home. What happens next when it’s found and official judges interpret the fingerpainted art?
Welcome back to my blog, Sherrill. This book sounds amazing. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
I’ve often thought, when seeing a painting that sells for millions and looks like someone threw paint on a wall, that my child has brought home better artwork from school! So a little bit of “Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder”, and a trace of The Emperor’s New Clothes! Themes of perspective and perception – with some self-esteem as well!
Each of your children’s books is done in rhyme. Could you give us a few lines of your story please?
One day in my art class, Ms. Gallagher said,
“Just fingerpaint something you see in your head.”
So I dipped all my fingers in paint that was green
And drew on the paper my very best scene.
Then right in the middle, I put a red blob
'Cause I wasn't quite sure how to best draw my dog;
But then the bell rang, so I put things away
And never got back to my picture that day.
Wonderful! I love children’s books that rhyme. They’re my favorite. Do you get to have a say about all the illustrations for your book?
That’s the most fun about working with Kalpart (the team that has illustrated all my books.) I am able to give them the instructions for each illustration, and then get a sketch back that I can either approve or change…before reaching final approval on the color version. This tends to happen occasionally, since they are in India and we do everything by email and there’s sometimes a language misinterpretation. One wonderful thing about this book is that not only is the theme of the story about perception and perspective concerning artwork, but the book is illustrated from the point of view of the child narrator – the reader sees what the child sees - so the reader interprets whether girl or boy, good or bad, etc.
You love to write children’s stories. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?
I love poetry and I love children. I especially love to get them to hear the music of the words. It makes my heart smile when I am reading aloud to children and hear a delighted exclamation, “It rhymes!” Also, as a former teacher, I usually try to teach social manners, such as consideration for others and self-esteem, disguised as fun stories.
Thank you for this wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your books. You can buy her books at Amazon. Just click here: Amazon Link